I’m watching Olympic Beach Volleyball, because really I have that much going on today. It’s Men’s Volleyball, too. There is no real reason for me to be watching Men’s Beach Volleyball. We’re probably going to beat the Japanese team. Not that I care that much about the outcome. And yet, here we are, watching the Olympics, for no other reason than because they’re on.
I realized, recently, that the only Olympic sport straight guys can watch for the eye candy is Women’s Beach Volleyball. Maybe diving. Certainly not gymnastics, unless you’re really creepy. I’m not even necessarily talking about the traditionally underdeveloped stature of the female athletes in that particular sport – if you’ve ever read Jennifer Sey’s book or Salon.com columns, and you’re not completely turned off by her depiction of a joyless, grueling, and self-hating existence, then I don’t want to be your friend anymore. Having said that: Winchester’s own Alicia Sacramone is really cute.
Also, she could crush you like a boa constrictor.
But this is Men’s Beach Volleyball, so I could really care less about the tanned, taut calves on display here, or the big, muscular arms that could really make someone feel safe start again.
Anyway, we’re talking about beach volleyball. There seems to be a certain amount of psychological warfare going on here, and it’s what separates beach volleyball from court volleyball. First of all, beach volleyball takes place on the hot sand, which is hard to move around on. Secondly, in between points, the players are forced to contend with brief, loud snippets of pop songs, seemingly chosen at random. I can’t even begin to understand how annoying and disorienting it must be to hear six seconds of “Glory Days” by Bruce Springsteen followed by six seconds of “Can’t Stop The Rock” followed by six seconds of “Volare” when you’re trying to focus on the game. At present, we are being treated to a four-second clip of the second verse of Bob Seger’s “That Old Time Rock and Roll.” Thank you, Glorious People’s Public Address System.
The whole point seems to be to recreate the beach experience, at least as much as one can in an arena environment. The only thing missing is seaweed and the occasional naked baby. By 2012, the International Olympic Committee will have decreed that all beach volleyball games must pause at the half-way mark so the players can enjoy warm lemonade and sandy tuna sandwiches.
Two people named “Gibb” and “Rosenthal”, which either sound like a dentist’s office or a ’70s folk duo, just beat a couple of Japanese guys whose names I didn’t catch. Good for them. Apparently, the US is cleaning up in beach volleyball this year, so, you know, go us.